"This paper attempts to assess the impacts of a management training program on the business performance of small enterprises in a metalworking cluster in Nairobi, Kenya. Based on the observed differences in management between successful and less successful enterprises, we designed a management training program featuring the basics of KAIZEN, an inexpensive, commonsense approach to management emphasizing the reduction of wasted work and materials, for the less successful enterprises.

This paper finds that business owners operating smaller enterprises tended to be self-selected into training participation. The training effects combined with the self-selection effect, which we estimate with panel data, were statistically significant and particularly stronger on profits than on sales revenues, while other training programs that did not teach KAIZEN had positive effects on sales revenues, not profits. As a result, the participants caught up with and overtook the non-participants in terms of average sales revenues and average profits, respectively."

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"The vast majority of micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in developing countries are located in industrial clusters, and the majority of such clusters have yet to see their growth take off. The performance of MSE clusters is especially low in Sub-Saharan Africa. While existing studies often attribute the poor performance to factors outside firms, problems within firms are seldom scrutinized. In fact, entrepreneurs in these clusters are unfamiliar with standard business practices. Based on a randomized experiment in Ghana, this study demonstrates that basic-level management training improves business practices and performance."

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